Animal adoption
Why Adopt:

  • When you adopt, you save a life and make space for the shelter to rescue another homeless pet.
  • No-kill shelters guarantee life to animals in their care and use 100 percent of their resources toward saving animals rather than killing them.
  • If you have your heart set on a certain breed, please consider adoption first. There are many purebred animals in the shelter system and many breed-specific rescue groups.
  • When you adopt a pet, it will already be spayed/neutered and will have already received veterinary care. (At PAWS Chicago, our animals also come with a certificate for two free weeks of vet care postadoption.)
  • Guarantee of life: No-kill shelters provide peace of mind long after adoption. Should something happen to you or your family that makes it impossible to keep your adopted pet months or even years later, no-kill shelters will welcome the animal back, regardless of its age.
National Statistics:

  • Nationally, between 6 and 8 million homeless dogs and cats enter the shelter system each year, and more than 50 percent of these (3 to 4 million) are euthanized. (Statistics source:
  • Approximately 1 million puppies are produced through the puppy mill system in the United States each year. When you buy a puppy from a pet store, you support puppy mills' mass breeding and inhumane practices. (Statistics source:
Always Consider Adopting Before You Support Pet Stores or Online Puppy Sales:

  • A responsible breeder always screens new pet parents and is not likely to sell their animals to pet stores or online puppy boutiques.
  • Many pet store puppies have not received adequate veterinary care, will not be up-to-date on vaccinations or be spayed/neutered. These services can cost thousands of dollars in addition to what you paid for the puppy.
PAWS Chicago, one of the nation's largest no-kill shelters, will adopt out more than 4,000 homeless dogs and cats and perform more than 17,000 donor-subsidized spay/neuter surgeries this year. Since PAWS Chicago was founded in 1997, the number of pets euthanized in Chicago has been reduced by more than half.

Visit to learn more about homeless pets.